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Watching Football Online? Proceed with Caution!

Do you enjoy watching football online? If so, it’s really important to use a safe method to avoid putting your personal information, and your computers and other devices, at risk. Read on for clarification on exactly what IS safe – but first, let’s discuss the potential dangers.

A recent BBC report has revealed that millions of people are using free (but illegal) online streaming services to watch UK football (soccer) matches online. Often, these services take a legitimate match broadcast (from Sky in the UK, for example) and “rebroadcast” it on a streaming site.

This practice is completely illegal but rather simple for dishonest providers to implement, so anyone sufficiently determined can usually find the match they want to watch free online.

Watching football online

Watching Football Online: The Risks

However, there is a sting in the tail. These streaming providers don’t make watching football online easy for you for altruistic reasons! As is often the way on the Internet, it’s all about the advertising. Serving up adverts is how these services make money. “So what?” you may ask? Well, the problem is that in their hunger for cash, these streaming providers aren’t fussy about the advertisers they work with.

Not all advertisers are there to sell products. Many of them have far more malicious intentions. As the BBC report states, honest advertisers don’t tend to associate themselves with illegal TV streams, so the providers end up working with unscrupulous organisations – the kind who are more interested in hijacking websites and harvesting personal data.

The reality of this situation goes far beyond hyperbole. A recent study of thousands of illegal football streams found that around half of them used “deceptive techniques” to install malware on viewer’s computers. So, if you stream football in this way, you’re as likely as not to be a victim.

So what’s the answer? Well, the first thing is to thoroughly scan your machine for viruses and malware if you’ve ever used one of these streaming sites.

Then, have a think about how you’ll go about watching football online in the future. We have a detailed feature on online football here. With a small investment in a Smart DNS service like Blockless, you’ll be able to use a range of legitimate streaming services, such as Now TV in the UK, which will give you access to the genuine broadcasts – legally, and with no risk to your computer.

IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia


Ben Taylor Written by Ben Taylor

Ben is a former government IT Director turned Internet entrepreneur. He runs several websites of his own, and provides bespoke IT consultancy to a range of UK clients. He also writes regular IT, business and lifestyle articles for a range of publications, both online and offline.

2 responses to “Watching Football Online? Proceed with Caution!

  1. I am in Ireland(South) and am denied live match screening of SOUTHEND UNITED on IFOLLOW
    because SKY say so !
    Can Smart DNS or VPN help here ??
    Playing Brighton tonight in friendly and may be good time to test something

    Help ??

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